Interviewer: How about once a case is ongoing and they’ve listed and they’ve retained you?
Are there other common mistakes that people make while their case is ongoing that hurts the case and makes it worse?
David: There are obvious mistakes, which are talking to the witnesses themselves or basically confronting the witnesses and trying to get them to change their story. That could easily get them arrested again for witness tampering or certainly for breach of bail.
It Is Advisable Not to Discuss the Details of Your Case, Especially if You Use Social Media
Another mistake people unintentionally make while cases are pending are talking to people that ought not to know the details of the case and that’s a concern.
I’ve been doing criminal defense work for 35 years and I have been absolutely stunned at how many people use text messages and other social media to communicate one person to the other.
They are apparently oblivious to the fact that there is a record kept of the communications and if the communications end up in the hands of the government, they are in serious trouble.
Do Not Leave Incriminating Communication on Your Cell Phone, It Will Be Used As Evidence against You
I did a trial a few years ago where the client was accused with possession with intent to sell and he happened to have a number of cell phones in his vehicle. Apparently, the government presented evidence concerning text messages to-and-from individuals with respect to what was going to happen.
All of a sudden the text messages end up as being used as evidence against the client. Basically, it is as if they’ve tape recorded themselves and left the tape in their pocket. Cell phone communications have been used quite often as evidence against their owners.
Certainly with respect to Facebook, I know there are a couple of prosecutors who prior to someone appearing in court will actually go into Facebook into the extent that they can find naïve defendants. They learn details about their life, which could really harm them during negotiations, when I’m trying to say they are a good person.
Posts on Facebook can hurt them in a trial setting where any wild kind of behavior might be brought forward. Use of social media is highly dangerous to people who have pending criminal cases.
This is something that I routinely tell people: absolutely do not communicate to your friends by Facebook or email, or text messages anything about the court case that we’ve got going, you never know where the communication is going to go.
Interviewer: I didn’t realize people were seriously unaware of that and when they are aware, it is too late.